In 2009, our friend and neighbor, Matthew Dworman, defeated Rob Caron, the incumbent selectman. By doing so, Matthew got a toehold in our town government, and was determined to bring order out of the fiscal and management chaos wreaked by the several previous, dysfunctional boards of selectmen. Matthew is once again running for selectmen, and I strongly encourage you to support him in that endeavor.
You may recall that immediately after the 2009 election, the select board elected Matthew as its chairman. He was in fact the most experienced board member, and understood what needed to be done to set East Kingston's municipal affairs in order. He worked diligently to that end, but still met resistance from the other board members whose laissez-faire attitudes and reluctance to deal with difficult management problems slowed needed progress to rational, competent local government.
Others of our neighbors recognized Matthew's dilemma, and, with a determination to help finish the job Matthew had begun, Mark Cook soundly defeated incumbent selectman Dave Pendell in 2011. Now that the majority of the board was finally level-headed, rational, and fiscally responsible, much change was effected. Employee salary abuses were eliminated, office management tensions were relieved by corrective dismissal and promotion, oversight of the budget was given the highest priority, and department heads were encouraged to manage their areas without destructive meddling from board members. Matthew had succeeded in his stated goal to restore the voters' faith and confidence in their board of selectmen.
For reasons unbeknownst to me, Matthew has a challenger in this race for selectman. That challenger, when asked, could not give me a good reason for his candidacy. When pressed, he offered that perhaps someone else should have a turn at it. The challenger, long known to me personally, remains an unknown with regard to his ability to lead and remain dispassionate and objective in serious decision-making. Were there pressing issues of government requiring new thinking, I would be more sanguine about him running, but his stated reason for doing so does not instill confidence in his maturity and perspective.
The present selectman board majority, with Matthew as chairman, is assuredly the most competent board we have had since the early 2000s. I believe Matthew's intention for running again is a desire to solidify the gains we have made through his superior leadership and management. I admire him for his determination, and strongly support him in that effort. I would encourage you to do likewise on 13 March.